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  • Waste Management Phoenix Open, Round Two

Bradley responds to Mickelson challenge

ESPN staff
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Keegan Bradley thrust himself into contention on Friday © Getty Images
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Waste Management Phoenix Open leaderboard

Former US PGA champion Keegan Bradley moved firmly into contention at the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Friday, thanks to a stellar second round of 63.

While not quite the equal of the first round 60 compiled by Phil Mickelson - who began his second round later on Friday - Bradley's effort around TPC Scottsdale nevertheless leapfrogged him to the top of the clubhouse leaderboard at 12-under par, thanks primarily to an eagle at the par-five 15th.

Alongside that impressive three, the American had seven birdies in his round - with a bogey at the second his only real mistake in a consistent display.

Nevertheless, Bradley ultimately finished the day six shots adrift of leader Mickelson - who missed out on setting a PGA Tour record for the lowest 36-hole tournament score after compiling a double-bogey at his final hole.

Nevertheless, the left-hander sat pretty at 18-under, five clear of nearest challenger Bill Haas - and was looking at the positives after difficult finishes to both of his opening rounds.

"You always remember kind of the last hole, the last putt," Mickelson said. "But I think it's very possible that's going to help me because it's got me refocused, that I cannot ease up on a single shot.

"I've got to be really focused. These guys are going to make a lot of birdies and I've got to get after it and cannot make those kinds of mistakes."

Bradley, meanwhile, finished the day level with Brandt Snedeker and one shot ahead of another former major winner, Angel Cabrera, after the Argentinian followed up Thursday's round of 66 with an even better effort of 65.

Elsewhere, Robert Garrigus and Ryan Moore both sit 10-under - while reigning Masters champion Bubba Watson is well placed at eight-under following a second successive round of 67.

Contending was a thrill for Garrigus - who was in the crowd at the famous par-three 16th 'stadium hole' when Tiger Woods made his hole-in-one back in 1997.

"It was unbelievable," Garrigus said, reflecting on that moment. "I told Tiger about that. He's like, 'Oh, you were there for that, huh?' I'm like, 'Yeah, the freaking windows in the clubhouse were shaking'. They could feel the roar from the clubhouse."

He added: "That was pretty cool. That made me - if I didn't want to be a professional golfer right there, I wasn't going to be one."

Padraig Harrington, meanwhile, is eight-under following a sketchy back nine that saw him forced to settle for a second round of 70.

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